This Week in the UK and Kirazli – February 26th 2007

It’s been a sad week.  I had to put our aged chocolate Labrador, Cocoa, to sleep.  He was very old and his back was going and he was struggling to walk and was really miserable, so I made the tough decision and took him in to our wonderful vet Sean who reassured and empathised and helped me to feel I was making the right decision.  It was still a wrench though, he had been part of our lives for 14 years and even though he spent most of the last three years asleep he was part of the family. It is amazing how much your life revolves around the routine of your animals.  I walk around feeling like I have forgotten to do something because I’m not feeding and walking the dog.  I do miss him and he was a lovely animal and even at his advanced age had such an adorable expression, just like a seal pup.

I have been told “no more animals” by Phil.  I get too upset when anything happens to them.  But he has said I am allowed to feed the village kittens in Kirazli so long as I don’t get too attached to them!  Fat chance!  There is an adorable little tiger like kitten I have been watching grow up for the last few months.  He was born in the old house that became our project, in the stable at the rear, and he and his Mum and sister kittens had to move out when work started.  Still he has thrived and grown and when I left the village he was very much the young man about town strutting around the project and practising his pounce on the squeaky residents of next doors wood pile.  I can feed him and watch him but he is a wild cat and so cuddles are definitely out, he wouldn’t let me near him.

Romance is in the air as Spring comes to the village.  Sezai is courting strong!  A suitable woman has been found and they have met and liked each other and so delicate negotiations are ongoing.  Sezai has made two trips into Kusadasi to visit her and to get to know her and has returned looking somewhat smug (and extremely distinguished when dressed up for a date!).  He has promised not to get married whilst we are away so I am looking forward to my first Turkish wedding. Phil has already been to one wedding whilst I was in the UK in December and was taught to dance by the men.  The picture evidence of that is being held by Metin in case of future extortion needs!

The weather all week in Turkey has been wonderful but there is much muttering in the tea shops about the lack of rain.  There will be a bad harvest if we don’t get more rain soon.  Metin’s father in Milas is bringing in the last of the olive crop and will be stockpiling for the summer, he may hold on to them even longer as if the weather holds dry the price of olives next year will be extortionate.

The rains came late last year though, with the first two weeks of March bringing massive rain storms that had the streets in Kusadasi running knee deep in rainwater and the normally bright blue harbour dark with run off from the hills for nearly a week.  It may be the same this year.  We will wait and see and hope that the rain does come.

I am all packed to return to Turkey.  My luggage is stuffed with everything from oil paintings to hand made soaps to copper jugs, and 6 metres of glorious Fifth Avenue damask that I couldn’t resist and which I plan to use for the curtains in the lounge.  It is a sumptuous, wonderfully flowing fabric in rich, wide stripes of gold and olive and rich terracotta.  I think it will look wonderful.  I think I am shopped out for the moment….don’t suppose that will last long though!

posted 26-02-2007